Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Why Does Time Fly!!? A Little Update on Me :)

Time goes by so fast! It feels like just yesterday I was a new mom juggling three kids under four, working full time, and getting my masters. Somehow in just a blink I now have four beautiful young adults that are still really keeping me on my toes!

Sometimes when I crash late at night after picking up that last wet towel or checking the littlest one for the 4th time to make sure she is still breathing I wonder how I'll do it again. But, I always do! When it comes right down to it I like to be busy. I like to be busy, but I'm left with worries about giving enough hugs or quality time to my littles. They are all so self sufficient that I let the cuddling go or realize we haven't had "special" time in too long.

How do you fit in special time when you are leading the busy life?
How do you slow down and make it happen?

My oldest is 14 and she's ready to hit the road soon with her permit! Crazy! Super responsible and always works hard for the grade. She is crazy about the house being clean. (Which works out great for me lol) She is amazing! Did I mention she is 6 1"? I have to hug my baby and look up. 

Tyler and Sawyer are in the middle. Tyler is my wild red head. He always keeps me on my toes. He is smart as a whip but would never pick up a pencil if I wasn't on him ALWAYS. lol 
Sawyer is always gunning for straight A's. He is my tender heart. Always ready with a hug and is super excited to go dancing at the Mother Son dance. 

This sassy little bunny is Sammy. She is a spitfire and can't wait for Kindergarten. I'm lucky that I get to take her to school with me this fall. She is showing off her fancy nails. She's all about nails, high heals, and lipstick! Of course she wants all of that while running wild keeping up with her brothers. lol 

Then, there is of course my handsome firefighting hubby. As if fighting fires full time isn't enough he does tree removal on the side. Can you say workaholic? :/ Love him and all that he does for us! We were high school sweethearts and have been married for 15 years. Talk about time flying!! 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter Love

Happy Easter All!!

I pray that you are all surrounded by sunshine and family on this beautiful day. This is my first post on my updated blog and I'm so happy to be back. I have been a very busy gal and I can't wait to reconnect with all of you. I teach 4th grade now, so I decided it was time for a blog name change. I went from, Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher to Thoughts of a Thankful Teacher. All 4 of my littles are growing and thriving. My hubby is still fighting fires in Jackson as a firefighter. I'm on my 19th year as an educator at Madison Elementary school and I LOVE my job. 

If you need a hug, give a hug. If you need a smile, give a smile. 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Building Changes!

We were just informed by our administrator that our entire building 1-5 will be reconfigured! That's 30 teachers!! Wow! Two teachers per grade level will be changing grade level and almost everyone will be forced to switch classrooms. As you can imagine we are all in an uproar. Yikes! I'm trying to stay positive. I've decided to focus on getting organized and looking forward to being in a room with heat. lol But, I sure am going to miss all my storage and the picture windows to the playground. :(

Anyone else out there moving?

What changes are you making and what is you attitude of choice?

How about some advise on major building changes?
Monday, September 1, 2014

Interactive Notebooks

Summer is coming to a close and that big yellow bus will soon be unloading the littles at our doors. After hours of training, room organization, shopping trips, and planning, I think I'm ready! Here are some things I'm excited about implementing this year:

1. Interactive Notebooks -
I'm excited to be using interactive notebooks this year! I used language and reading interactive notebooks toward the end of last school year. This year I will be adding science notebooks to my plans.   I've been following the Science Penguin all summer on Facebook and I love her enthusiasm and ideas. Her latest post is all about Force and Motion. Click on the link below to check her out!

I love the language and reading interactive notebooks that I used last year! Several of my co-workers are jumping on the wagon with me. I'm excited for them to see how well they work and how much the kids LOVE them! I'm sure you all know about Teaching with Blonde Ambition but if you don't..... GET OVER THERE AND CHECK HER OUT!! :) Click on her link to get to her Teachers Pay Teachers site and grab up her interactive notebooks. They are worth every penny!!!

I have a few tricks for time management and the organization of supplies.

1. I pass out the days notebook pages first thing. They are waiting for the students on their desks when they arrive along with their morning work.
2. Morning work is completed 1st.
They cut out anything that needs cutting before coloring. You will find that some kids LOVE to color!! They love it and they will dawdle at it for waaayyyy too long. So, we cut first then use extra time to color.
3. As we move on from morning work they put their notebook pages in mini folders on their desk to go back to as they finish other work during the day. It's perfect for those early finishers. When notebook time does arrive everything is ready to go. They just grab their folders and notebook and meet me at the carpet.  
4. I remind my perfectionists that they may go back on their own time to make pretty touch ups later. :)

Do any of you have experience with these notebooks? If so what are your tricks? Do you have other notebooks from other sites that you have tried with success?
Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Beginning of the School Year Ideas

Greetings Bloggy Buddies!!

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer!! I can't believe it is almost half over. Wow, time flies. :)

We have a new addition in our house. Samantha Rose was born June 7th weighing in at 7 pounds 4 ounces. She is healthy and beautiful and we just couldn't love her more. I unfortunately came down with C-Diff in the hospital so I have been VERY ill the past 3 weeks. That is some serious business!! I'm feeling much better now with the help of family, rest, and strong medicine. :)

I'm very fortunate and plan to take the fall off of school this year to spend time with the new baby and be a stay at home soccer mom. I can't help but be a little sad about missing those first back to school days in my classroom though. I have to admit the beginning of the year, that fresh exciting start, is my very favorite time of the year. I've been looking around and thinking about how to help my long term substitute have the smoothest beginning possible. I have collected lots of ideas throughout the past couple years on my Pinterest pages.

 Gift/Snack ideas

Scavenger Hunts

Get to Know You/ Art Ideas

Bulletin Board Ideas

I plan to lay out some fun beginning of the school year ideas for my substitute and let her put her own spin on things. This way she has pictures and ideas of how to have a fun successful beginning of the school year. I feel bad just handing her a stack of my favorite books to run with. :) 
Of course she will get a copy of the Daily 5, CAFE, and other wonderful resources that she can follow and rely on. But that is for a different day and a different post. 

Check out my Pinterest pages to see if there is anything to help your room start off with a bang of fun!!

I would love hear about any ideas/resources that are your favorite go to's for the beginning of the school year!! Leave a comment below with links or ideas so I can come check out your ideas. :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Response To Text / Tracking our Thinking

Hello out there bloggy buddies! It's been a long time! Life over at the Lutton house has been busy and rather exciting. Since I've talked to you last:

1. Rich (my husband) scored a new job as a full time fireman.
2. I looped up to the 4th grade with my wonderful class.It's going     well. I will post more on that at another time. :)
3. My Kids started at their new school. They love is. (shewie)
4. My baby started kindergarten.
5. Baby Lutton # 4 is on the way!!! CrAzY!!! ExCiTiNg!!
 BTW it's a .....................................................GIRL!!

Life in the fast lane just got faster!!

I recently stumbled upon a site called TweenTribune. It offers news articles geared towards tween aged kids. The articles are short and attention grabbing. 
I went on and created an account for my class. Each student is given a log in and password. Right now I'm using this site to take tracking our thinking while reading a step further. Students track their thinking on post its while they read and then use those thoughts/post its to compile a writen reaction to the article. Fun right?! At the end of each article we can read the reactions/comments of other kids their age. Then, my kids can log on and write their own comments. There is no greater motivation than seeing their writing published online! Of course as the teacher I have the power to check and ok all the comments before they actually get published. 

We have already discussed tracking our thinking while reading earlier in the year so the students are very familiar with this concept. But, I have noticed lately they are having trouble transferring their thinking into their writing. We do reading response logs and this area is one they struggle with.  

Here is what I did:

1. Picked an article I knew they would have serious opinions about. (Should We Have Summer Break?) Gathered them on the carpet around the chart paper with the ipads and had them all log on to that article.  

 2. We read the article and tracked out reaction/thinking on the chart paper as we read. 

 3. When we were done reading and discussing we looked back at our notes on the chart paper and compiled them into 4-5 coherent intelligent sentences that captured our thinking/reactions.  

4. We then checked out writing for things like using specific names, using proper grammar, punctuation, detail, etc.   

5. I plan to use this activity to give out both a reading and writing grade.  


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Giveaway Time!!!

I'm so very excited to present a wonderful giveaway today!! 
The HearALL Assessment Recorder!! 
I know you have seen these giveaways popping up around blog land. I was so excited when Learning Resources contacted me about reviewing this product. I get to provide yet another reader with the HearALL Assessment Recorder! This awesome recorder is worth $100 buckaroos girlfriends!! So, get in on the fun!!

I've been using this handy little gadget in my classroom for well over a month now and my students and I LOVE it! What do I love about it you ask??

  • It's light weight and easy to use! 
  • The sound is very clear and high quality.
  • It allows me to be in two places at once.
  • The reluctant/shy students are motivated to read aloud to it.  
  • The kids are under it's charm and stay focused when reading to it. 
  • It doesn't need batteries.
  • You can play back recordings on the spot, save for later, send to a parent via email, upload recording to your blog, etc... (So much potential!!)
  • Wonderful way to practice fluency! They can buddy read in a fun voice (cowboy/robot/alien/etc.) then play it back and listen to themselves. Super fun!! 
Here is the HearALL in action in my classroom!

Thanks super duper 
Learning Resources 
for making this giveaway possible!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks super duper for entering my giveaway!! 
I have another one in the works so stay tuned!!
Saturday, June 2, 2012

Getting My Linky On!!

I so love a linky and now that I have a little more time on my hands, (I mean a LITTLE) I'm joining in on the fun over at ...
Sour Apple Studio
Besides the fact that her blog design is AWESOME!! She is celebrating with a giveaway. Why not type on over and show some love!?!?

Here is a list of the things I soooooo could not live without!!
For the sake of cornyness (is that a word?) I will not say my students. :) But, seriously I love those little turkeys!! Even the turkeys that are very hard to love. :) I'm off right now taking care of my little guy who had surgery. I went in today to catch up on sub plans and one of my little guys came up to me and said in a sooo very serious voice, "I missed you more than this whole room Mrs. Lutton". 
(heart melting into a puddle of goo)

1. My Library!! I have worked so very hard to build up the classroom library that I have and I love it! I know I have a book buying problem and I've slowed down tremendously but I have a passion people what can I say!!
2. - Love me some xtramath!! This is a free site for math fact practice. It has made a huge difference in my classroom. It makes math fact practice fun and we do it every day.
3. This girl LOVES her some Sharpie markers!! Seriously LOVE EM'!! Enough said!
4. Pinterest is a must for me. I will same I'm a little less obsessed and I don't check it every night. Hey!! I admit I do have some small obsessions. Is it so bad?!? Pinterest has been a way for me to organize and utilize ideas and has allowed me to improve my teaching. If you don't already then jump on over and follow along!! I've have a couple people checking in on my pinning. :)
Follow Me on Pinterest
5. Have I mentioned how very much I adore my co-workers? They make me laugh. They pick me up when I feel down. They inspire me. They make work fun and I'm so very lucky to have them!
6. Did I mention DIET COKE!?!

There are so very many more things that keep me chug a lugging through the day but hey, we just don't have enough time to cover them all!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Persuasive Writing

I made a solid effort to sneak in persuasive writing before the year ended. My kids LOVED it!! I gathered some awesome picture books to show author examples, modeled, and whipped up some snazzy charts. I think that next year I will review letter writing and then jump right into persuasive writing. They just go together so well. I'll have to say that the Common Core looks highly on persuasive writing so I want to do it up right! :)

Here were a few of my favorite books. They were great! Super funny, with beautiful illustrations, they would make wonderful additions to any classroom library. My kids were CRAZY for the I Wanna books! I think I'll put a twist on my LaRue books next year to mesh with elections. Never too soon to plan ahead!! :) Now, I just have to not forget. hehe! I have to say I get so many wonderful ideas from all the wonderful blogs and the awesome Pinteresters that I need to get better at writing all the awesome ideas down on some kind of organized map. Imagine that!! :)

I swear I'm not one big sales pitch but I purchased this Persuasive Writing unit on Teacher's Pay Teachers. It has come in super handy! If you know Jen from Runde's Room than you know she has been blogging a long while. She has some super cool stuff in her store and I can vouch that the Persuasuve Writing unit is wonderful. 
If you want to jump over and check out Runde's Room she just recently posted about a Daily 5 book study.  
You know how I LOVE Daily 5!!

Now for the charts I whipped together! I took information from the writing unit, threw in picture book examples, snazzed it all up with my sassy sharpies and......POOF!!

My kids focused on writing letters to people trying to "persuade" them to do, think, buy, etc. Most of them wrote letters to parents that were very similar to the ones in the picture books I read. I see taking things a step further next year when I loop to fourth. I want to see them choosing candidates or issues, then writing to persuade. How cool would that be!?!
I did have a few who wrote a few sentences and would run up to me saying they were done. Go figure!! :) We work on writing during Daily 5 time and I couldn't have my conferences/guided reading interrupted so I broke things down for them.
All in all things went well! I had two girls tag team a letter to convince me to allow them to bring in their cat. I read the letter and planned to respond but they took my not saying no, as a yes. The next day in walks a grandma with a cat. I guess we need to talk a bit more about persuasion and permission! Ha! It was a very nice cat. :) 

Please feel free to comment with other materials, books, and/or tools you use for persuasive writing. I would love to hear from you!

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